Hope in the Tiny Heartbeat

Today, Good Friday, I went out to Peetz, the missile silo site, again. I don't like going, nor do I like staying home. Two years ago I took my infant daughter, snuggled to my chest, and my 4-year-old son. I took him because he asked to go. I took her, and her tiny heartbeat kept my heart from freezing. It rained from a gray sky, and I needed her.

Last year it sleeted and snowed, and the wind drove my son and me back from walking the line between emerald wheat and sterile silo earth. We waited for the others and watched them walk, crosses in hand.

The soldiers were out watching us and moving their trucks around inside the base fence. I felt better seeing people there. If I gave an eloquent and convincing speech, maybe the young employees would hear me. The giant missile cannot, and I do not know its computer code for STOP. DO NOT MULTIPLY OR LAUNCH TO MELT THE PARK BENCHES AND CURLY HAIRED CHILDREN AND SPRING ROBINS. I BOUGHT YOU WITH MY TAX DOLLARS BUT I DON'T REMEMBER PLACING MY ORDER.

This year the sun shone and the cold wind made the wheat dance against my 6-year-old's worn high-top sneakers. A man in a patrol car filmed all of us--a long movie. Who will watch this movie of a few ordinary people walking in a circle in a lonely place, offering a prayer or two and a recited psalm?

My country, are you afraid of me? You encourage me. I am glad we came. I am not totally impotent to make my voice heard. You may have my picture. I turn my face in the wind to the camera. Can you see my weapons of hope and my faith in God? God is my security and I know God's code of love.

My country America, you have my picture now. I offer my name and fingerprints. Find my name scratched in Jesus' palms with the point of a nail and my fingerprints on my children's birth certificates, right next to their tiny footprints. Footprints of promise. Fingerprints of hope.

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